The technical progress continues. In addition, the design becomes more focused, with details such as the aerodynamically raised rear. The typical front section with the double headlights in the radiator grille remains. Inside, technical innovations such as ABS, airbags, electronic engine control, exhaust gas catalytic converters and an on-board computer are available as options. Almost all engines now have manifold injection.
In 1983, the first BMW 5 Series model is equipped with a diesel engine. The BMW 524td produces 85 kW and is the fastest diesel sedan in the world at the time.
In 1985, along with the BMW M535i, the first BMW M5 is introduced. It lays down the foundations for a range of sporty sedans. They demonstrate that exceptional driving characteristics are not the exclusive domain of exotic sports cars. The BMW M5 is produced entirely by hand. It shares the 3.5-litre inline 6-cylinder engine with the BMW M635CSi and delivers an impressive 210 kW. Despite this output, its appearance remains understated and elegant.
Even back in 1974, BMW M GmbH supplies M versions of the BMW E12 in limited quantities. The highlight is the BMW M535i. With its distinctive front spoiler and a 6-cylinder engine supplying 160 kW, it sets standards – both optically and athletically. Up until the end of 1987, more than 722,000 vehicles from the BMW 5 Series roll off the production line.
Production period: 1981 – 1987
Engines: 1.8 – 3.5 litres (66 – 210 kW), 4 & 6 cylinders
Length/breadth/height: 4,620 mm/1,700 mm/1,415 mm